Chicago might be known for its devastating winters and deep-dish pizza, but with its recent addition to this year’s Inner City 100 list, it’s also becoming known for some of America’s fastest-growing businesses.
Of the 100 businesses that were announced on this year’s Inner City 100 list, 13 call the Windy City their home base.
The Inner City 100 list tracks the fastest-growing companies in urban areas and is compiled by The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City in partnership with Fortune.
The areas studied are defined as those having higher rates of poverty and unemployment, as well as lower incomes than the other surrounding areas.
Approximately 543,000 new businesses are started every month, and to have so many see success and be recognized for it in Chicago is truly a milestone accomplishment for the city.
Some of that success can be attributed to pro-business reforms that started in 2011. Chicago has been taking steps to abolish red tape and other barriers that have barred entrepreneurial endeavors in the past.
As a result, the city now boasts its lowest office vacancy rate since 2008.
However, that doesn’t mean Illinois is completely devoid of issues.
In fact, Illinois state Treasurer Michael Frerichs just suspended $30 billion in state investment activity with Wells Fargo this week.
Frerichs is joining a growing chorus of outrage at a recent scandal, which involved bank employees opening millions of fake accounts to meet their goals.
Illinois, which has approximately $1 trillion in annual bank activities, followed closely on the tails of a similar action taken by California last week.
In addition, Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers plans to divest $25 million that the city had previously invested in Wells Fargo & Company.
“The City Treasurer is proud to stand with working families from Chicago and across the nation by divesting in Wells Fargo & Co.,” according to a statement. “Chicago deserves better.”
Fortunately, Chicago’s business and tech scenes have seen wild success over the last few years.
Lorell Marin, the founder and executive director of LEEP Forward, a special-needs pediatric clinic on the Inner City 100, said that there are increasing amounts of opportunities to gather, get to know one another, and grow in the city.